TORONTO – Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel said it was not his intention to upset Rob Ford during the mayor’s appearance on his ABC program Monday night.
Kimmel razzed the Toronto mayor during his guest appearance over a series of unflattering and controversial incidents that have garnered Ford worldwide attention.
“It seemed like we were having fun,” said Kimmel as he opened his monologue Tuesday night.
“But then after the show, apparently he was upset. Why, I’m not exactly sure. I asked him about drinking and smoking crack — what were we supposed to talk about, his other hobbies?”
Kimmel noted that after the show, Ford “left right away mad,” but changed his tune after perhaps watching it again or thinking about it out on the flight home.
Kimmel then played video of a scrum at Toronto city hall where Ford denied that Kimmel had made a fool out of him.
“I knew I was going into a lion’s den but I held my own,” the mayor said.
After the clip ended with Ford stating he “loves the people in LA,” Kimmel declared, “and we love you too. In fact we might even be in love with you, Mayor Ford.”
Kimmel said he had no intention of upsetting the mayor, adding, “I hope we’re still on for go-carting this weekend.”
He said he felt bad that Ford didn’t get more time to promote the city of Toronto and said he would make it up to him.
“The last thing we need is a war with Canada,” Kimmel said before showing a video of a tongue-in-cheek tour of various Toronto landmarks shot in 2011.
During his city hall scrum Tuesday morning, an upbeat Ford sloughed off Kimmel’s suggestion the mayor find someone to talk to about his addictions.
“I don’t have any personal issues,” Ford said.
“We’ve gone down that road a number of times.”
Ford had described himself on the program as a “normal, average, hard-working politician that’s real.”
“You are not the average politician my friend,” Kimmel retorted.
Ford’s councillor brother Doug Ford, who accompanied the mayor to L.A., said Tuesday that the show was like a “church picnic.”
He also seized on Kimmel’s pronouncement that Ford was the “most wonderful mayor” he had ever witnessed.
“Jimmy Kimmel, as he said, ‘You’re the best mayor’,” Doug Ford said.
“He was sincere when he said that.”
— with files from Alan Black in Toronto.